§ 7420 Notification requirement for Stage 1 vapor recovery activities.
The vapor recovery permit requirements for Stage 1 vapor recovery equipment, as identified by the Department, and operation thereof required under § 6003 of this title may be suspended by the Secretary and replaced with a notification requirement in accordance with duly promulgated regulations.
§ 7421 Legislative findings and intent.
The General Assembly finds and declares that it is in the best interests of the people of Delaware that small retail gasoline station owners and operators continue to maintain their economic viability, while taking the remedial and preventive measures necessary to protect Delaware's environment and to comply with this subchapter and other State and federal environmental protection laws. The General Assembly further finds that such station owners and operators are often unable to obtain financing for needed remedial and preventive measures in the private financing market, and accordingly it is necessary for the State to provide affordable financing if the public interest is to be protected. Therefore, there shall be established in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control ("Department'') a loan assistance program, the purpose of which is provide loans to small retail gasoline station owners and operators ("small stations'') to carry out the following activities necessary to comply with State and federal environmental laws:
(1) Installation of air quality protection devices; and/or
(2) Replacement of existing underground storage tank systems; and/or
(3) Removal and abandonment of underground storage tank systems; and/or
(4) Installation of water quality protection devices.
§ 7422 Small Retail Gasoline Station Assistance Loan Fund; source of funds, interest rate, and capitalization.
(a) Loan proceeds and the State's expenses in administering this program shall be drawn from a special account of the Transportation Trust Fund known as the "Small Retail Gasoline Station Assistance Loan Fund,'' hereinafter referred to as the "Small Station Fund.''
(b) Loans made from the Small Station Fund shall require interest payments at a simple interest rate which is 2% above the Federal Reserve discount rate in effect at the time the loan application is filed with the Department.
(c) The Small Station Fund account shall be capitalized in an amount not to exceed $12 million over the life of the program out of funds of the Transportation Trust Fund as authorized by Chapter 14 of Title 2.
§ 7423 Small Station Fund eligibility.
(a) Any applicant for a Small Station Fund loan must demonstrate that the applicant meets the following criteria:
(1) The loan shall be made only to small station owner/operators as defined in eligibility rules established under this section and who also qualify as a "Small Business'' under rules established by the Small Business Administration, provided, however, that no loan may be provided to a small station which has a total throughput of 75,001 gallons or more of gasoline and/or special fuel (diesel) products as a monthly average for the 12 months preceding the date of application for the loan;
(2) The loan proceeds for any individual site may not exceed $100,000, and shall be used for a project approved under this section to accomplish one of the following purposes:
a. Installation of air quality protection devices; and/or
b. Replacement of existing underground storage tank systems; and/or
c. Removal and abandonment of underground storage tank systems; and/or
d. Installation of water quality protection devices;
(3) In no event shall the loan proceeds exceed 90% of the total amount required to complete the project for which the loan is made. Applicants must also show proof of ability to repay the Small Station Fund within a time period not exceeding 7 years;
(4) The application for a loan from the Small Station Fund shall be made on or before November 15, 1997, accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $250, which shall immediately upon receipt be transferred to the Transportation Trust Fund. No loans shall be made after July 1, 1998;
(5) Such other criteria as may be specified pursuant to subsection (b) of this section; and
(6) The loan for the project to be provided to the small station by the Small Station Fund shall be approved by the Secretary of the Department and the Secretary of the Department of Transportation.
(b) Before making any loan from the Small Station Fund, the Department, in coordination with the Department of Transportation, shall specify:
(1) Standards, consistent with subsection (a) of this section, for determining the eligibility of borrowers and the type of projects to be financed with loans from the Small Station Fund;
(2) Procedures for submitting applications for loans from the Small Station Fund and procedures for approval of such applications;
(3) Conditions for loans from the Small Station Fund consistent with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section; and
(4) Other relevant criteria, standards or procedures.
§ 7424 Loan payment mechanism; prepayment and security options.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, small stations shall make their loan payments under this program through a surcharge of not less than $0.01 per gallon for each gallon for which fuel taxes are assessed, to be paid with the fuel tax returns filed each month by themselves or their distributors/suppliers on their behalf, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 51 of Title 30. The surcharge is not to be treated as a fuel tax payment, and will be applied to the credit of the small station on the unpaid balance of principal and interest on the loan.
(b) In addition to the payment mechanism set forth in subsection (a) of this section, as well as other methods of secured repayment provided for pursuant to § 7422(b) of this title, small stations may also make larger loan payments through other mechanisms approved under § 7422(b) of this title, to enable the small station to prepay the loan without penalty.